Thursday, June 20

MNA to survey safety of telco towers

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Abdul Wahab (fourth left) and Zaidi exchange documents witnessed by Abang Johari (centre). — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: The Malaysian Nuclear Agency (MNA) will research, survey, and monitor telecommunications towers across Sarawak to certify they are safe.

MNA director-general Dr Mohd Abdul Wahab Yusof said once completed, AREFcerts (Assessment of Radio Frequency and Certification) would be issued for every telecommunications tower in Sarawak.

“There is a QR code on the AREFcert, which people can scan using their mobile devices that shows them the certificate we issued on the telecommunications tower, even with the photo of the tower,” he told a press conference after exchanging memorandum of understanding (MoU) documents with the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) yesterday.

Sarawak is the second state after Melaka to obtain technical support from MNA.

Abdul Wahab explained MNA would assist SMA to ensure that the radiofrequency (RF) used in Sarawak “is safe for all”.

“We are also providing information and explanation to the general public so that they can understand that RF used in telecommunications is safe.

“We hope to help the Sarawak government especially SMA to carry out research and survey activities related to RF. We will help to enhance public acceptance of RF,” he said.

Abdul Wahab pointed out there is no conclusive evidence to indicate that RF can cause cancer or that it is unsafe.

He said there are different levels of frequencies and the frequency for RF is low and neither radioactive nor hazardous.

“For as long as the RF level does not exceed the limit, it is safe,” he said, adding that the limit had been set at 1,000 microwatts per square centimetre.

SMA general manager Dr Zaidi Razak said there are presently 2,600 telecommunication towers throughout Sarawak, all of which come under SMA’s jurisdiction.

So far about 40 of the towers have already been issued with AREFcerts.

“We are assisting MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission),” he added.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg witnessed the exchange of MoU documents.